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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,739
# 16
06-07-2013, 12:39 PM
Originally Posted by scruffyvulcan View Post
I totally agree that origin stories for Superman, Batman, and Spider-man (and a few other iconic characters) are a complete waste of screen time.
Sometimes even the less iconic ones. Even the X-men people are familiar with, most of their origins aren't exactly known. I don't think non comic readers really knows that Storm was being worshiped by a bush tribe who thought she was a god, or that Cyclop's dad was a non-mutant superhero. Heck, I read them since the 80's and learned that last bit during wikipedia binge in 2010.

But the first X-men movie handled their "origins" perfectly well - some exposition on what mutants are and how they come into being, and then showing the first emergence of a single character's powers as demonstration.

Then it dives right into an established team full of adult mutants, their powers already developed and mastered, using those powers to battle another team just like them.

It handled the origin of a single hero in about five minutes, and then just parades a bunch of superheroes in front of the audience like they're just an everyday thing. And it went on to be a big enough movie to launch two sequels, plus a prequel and a spin off, both of which are getting their own sequels, and play a big role in the explosion of superhero movies. And even though one of them was literally called "origins," it got through the whole origin thing in the first two scenes.

Thor did the same thing, really. It opens up to as scene full of magical space vikings, and promptly proceeds to the business of being magical space vikings. It may have been one of the weaker entries in the Avengers lead up, but it still worked, and Thor is not really one of the iconic Avengers, he's not as well known outside of comic readers.

Skipping origins becomes even more effective in shared continuities like Avengers and Justice League (if it becomes a reality). Once you establish a world that is populated by an increasing number of superheroes, each new one becomes less of a stretch to the imagination, their presence and activity being part of what defines that universe.

Now, some superheroes might need some backstory. Viewers probably won't just naturally wrap their heads around a talking racoon and a tree person showing up in the Avengers continuity without some exposition, but if Bifrost dropped Thor and Loki on Earth and there was two new guys with them who introduced themselves as Tyr and Balder? Yeah, sure, more magical space vikings, most people would go with it.

Last edited by hevach; 06-07-2013 at 12:45 PM.